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Warning: This Article Contains Cat VideosMonday, March 20th, 2017

IMG_2590 (1)Josh DiCristo, Front Rush

I was supposed to have this post finished, yesterday. Then I got busy and this happened and then that happened and then I had free time but then YouTube happened. Then I thought that it would be done this morning. Now, as I write this, it’s about 2 in the afternoon. John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” and Oscar Wilde once wrote, “I never put off ‘til tomorrow what I can possibly do the day after”. Both John Lennon and Oscar Wilde dealt with setbacks and both dealt with a common weakness that affects all of us at one point or another – procrastination. But Lennon and Wilde had one more thing in common – their birthday. No, I’m just kidding, but how crazy would that be? Neither of them existed in the age of the internet.

The internet is undeniably an incredible tool that has reshaped the world and provided us access to information and connectivity that previous generations could only dream of. It’s streamlined the entire recruitment process, reduced all of the various papers and schedules coaches would normally have to manage, and with the utilization of algorithms, recruits can find you and vice versa at near-ridiculous speeds.

But also, cat videos. And man, are cat videos great.

So with YouTube and BuzzFeed and Netflix and email, how do you stay focused?  An easy answer is to stay off the internet but let’s say, for sake of argument, that your job requires you to be online for the purposes of college recruiting. As we pointed out earlier – the internet sure has it’s upsides in that realm. So how do you stay focused in your day-to-day?

First and foremost, the easiest thing to do is to remove notifications from sites like Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter. Though it might be important to check those sites throughout the day for your work, do you get a notification every time something new pops up at your job? Maybe sometimes, but odds are not all the time. So why should you be notified anytime someone follows you or tags you in a new post? If those websites go on the rotation of every other work-related website that you check, you’ll find yourself going back to it less and less throughout the day.

Certain browsers also have free apps that can help you manage your time better online. One such app (or “extension” as apps are known in Google Chrome), is StayFocusd. StayFocusd is available on multiple browsers and allows you to block certain time-draining websites on your computer for certain periods of time throughout the day. There are tons of apps out there that do this – a quick google search and you can find the right one that fits you!

However, the main problem with these apps is that they work great for the first few days but after a week or so you might find yourself logging into the settings to remove websites you had previously blocked. Most of these apps don’t allow you to remove websites off your blocked list for a few hours (for obvious reasons) but where there’s a will there’s a way and people will always find ways around it. If you want to take the “nuclear” option you can remove the website from any browser on your computer entirely. Have someone add the website to your host file in a specific way and it’ll be gone until they remove it from the list themselves.

If blocking websites isn’t your thing, you can set frequent Google Calendar reminders or iCal reminders on days that you know you’ll be spending a lot of time in front of a computer. At the very least, even if you ignore them, you have to close out of each notification that appears on your desktop. In your brain, it causes you to take a neurological break from whatever you’re doing (gotta love those cat videos) which might just be enough to snap you back into productivity.

Another option is to turn on airplane mode when you’re working. This won’t work in all cases because sometimes you absolutely need the internet. But in some cases, the app you’re working with might just have the ability to sync data “when connected”. So stay on your desktop or device as long as you need, without an internet connection. The internet is only two clicks away and if you’re only connecting to save your data, you’re getting all of the benefits of working online without the distractions.

So there are lots of ways to stay focused, even when your job requires you to be on your computer or on the internet. The paradox is to learn about them, you have to take a trip to Google which will frequently leave you with the answer, but not before giving you a parting gift of more distraction. So here’s a few tips courtesy of us, and with minimal cat video interruption.

P.S. It turns out that John Lennon and Oscar Wilde’s birthdays and date of death were both within eight days of each other. Who knew? You can thank the internet for that one, too.

Is a 40 Hour Work Week Possible?Monday, March 6th, 2017

Mandy Green, Busy.Coach

I listened to a great podcast while on the elliptical this last week.  It was Tony Robbins interviewing Tim Ferris about the greatest takeaways he got from writing his latest book Tools of Titans.  

One of the very first key lessons Ferris discusses is that to get better results, he learned that he needed to ask better questions.  For example, “Why can’t I accomplish my 10 year goals in the next 6 months?”

I love that question.  Why not, right?  But for you to accomplish your 10 year goals in the next 6 months, you would need to significantly change the way you think, behave, take action, and collaborate with others for it to become a reality.  What a challenge!  I love it.

It got me thinking back to the point in my career when I started to ask better questions.  About 7 years ago I was struggling with my own productivity and really close to burning out.  I was a new 1st time mommy and had just accepted my first D 1 head coaching job of a bottom 20 team in the country and had no full-time staff for my first 3 years.  I was wearing a lot of hats, working a ton of hours, and trying to do things the way I was comfortable with and had always done them.  As you can imagine, I was mentally and physically exhausted after a while.

Having a child to get home to was what ultimately forced me to ask better questions if I was going to continue to stay in the profession.  The question that I started asking was, “Is it possible to only work 40 hours a week as a coach, get the results I was after, and still be sane?”  

At first, with the circumstances of my situation being what they were, that question seemed impossible.  But for the sake of my pride, my career, my health, and my sanity, I knew I had to find a better way.

After asking the question, these were a few of the possible solutions I came up with.  

  1. Eliminate things on my to-do list that weren’t giving me a good return on the time and energy I was putting into it.
  2. I needed to figure out how I could create big chunks of uninterrupted work time.
  3. I needed a better system of keeping track of who, when, and how I was communicating with recruits.
  4. I needed to figure out how my energy levels waivered during the day and find a better way to keep my energy up.
  5. I needed a better system for making sure I was working on my top priorities, staying on track, and working with urgency.  

By the time I was done brainstorming, I had a full page of questions and I believed if I could find the answers, it would help me get better results and my work hours down to 40 hours.

I can’t truly pinpoint one source that I got this idea from, because I had been reading a lot of different business books at the time.     

Book after book, what stood out is that tracking is one of businesses best practices. Really great businesses track all of their important metrics (leads, closes, sales numbers, etc.) so they know where their time and resources are best spent.  

What completely sold me on tracking as I was trying to get my question answered was the saying that 1 hour of testing could save you 10.  10 hours saved would get me 10 more hours with my kids or 10 more hours building my program in other ways.  It will be well worth it.

I am going to use these numbers to figure out where I am getting the best ROI in time and resources.  Tournaments, letters, or other tasks that we are not getting a good result from, will either be tossed out or a better way will have to be found.   

If you want to see how I am using measuring and tracking with every aspect of my program, take a look at this free report about how I use tracking that I created called Track Your Way to Success.  

 

If you have other ways that you have been testing or tracking, I’d love to hear it.  Email me at mandy@busy.coach.

 

Are YOU Making These 2 Critical Time Management Mistakes?Monday, February 20th, 2017

Mandy Green, Busy.Coach

Coach, have you ever come back from lunch, checked your email, fiddled around on the web, and realized that two or three hours had just slipped away from you?   Every day, so many coaches engage themselves in activities that are not relevant to their goals, recruiting, or their vision for their program. These coaches waste an enormous amount of time every day and they aren’t even aware that they are doing it.

I wrote a report called 11 Mistakes That Stop Coaches from Being Successful.  There are a lot of mistakes that coaches are making in the office that are costing a lot of time and wasted energy.

Brian Tracy, motivational speaker and best-selling author, says most people can waste up to one and a half hours per day because of time-management mistakes. That’s seven and a half hours per week… almost an entire work day!  It’s not a solid block of an hour and a half, but a minute here and a minute there, like a leaky hot water faucet…drip, drip, drip…it doesn’t seem like a major loss, but at the end the day, we’re dumping gallons of hot water down the drain.

The simple truth is that if you could just avoid or properly manage these 2 time-wasters I talk about below, you would be free to accomplish your goals and grow your program in profound ways.

Each one has the potential to really eat your time and heighten your stress levels. Even if you’re doing O.K. with one of the two areas I’m going to talk about, that one area you’re failing at can short-circuit your entire day.

 

  • Multi-Tasking

 

Every coach likes to think they’re great at multi-tasking, and some of them actually do ok. But there is a limit to how many things you can do at once without taking away from the quality of your work…and it almost always greatly increases the time it takes to finish each project. Experts estimate that the tendency to start and stop a task, to pick it up, put it down and come back to it can increase the time necessary to complete the task by as much as 500%. That means that a task that should take 10 minutes to complete now takes almost an hour.

That’s why it is very important to absorb yourself with one thing at a time. Give that task your full attention and complete it before moving on to the next thing. By concentrating single-mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50% or more. Do your most important task first. Do it until it’s completed. Then, and only then, move on to the next most important task.

 

  • Meetings

 

We have all been in meetings that don’t start on time, seem to have no purpose, are way too long, or don’t end when they should. Those terrible meetings should tell you something about how your meetings should go.

First: Have a purpose and stick only to that purpose.

Second: Your meeting should start on time.

Third: Your meeting should have a time limit

Fourth: Your meeting should end on time.

To sum up, if you say you are going to have a meeting from 11:30 to 12:00 to discuss the practice for the day, you better start your meeting at 11:30, it better be about the practice for the day and nothing else, and it better be over by 12:00.

No matter what sport you coach, time is valuable and work is interconnected. If you fail to start meetings on time or fail to meet commitments, you affect the work of the rest of your staff. Schedule blocks of time for each item to be discussed and then keep track of the time. Always keep commitments, and if you can’t, make sure all staff members involved are updated.

The key point here with both of these time wasters is to STAY FOCUSED That’s all that really matters. Refuse to let other things distract you from the task at hand and you can triple your productivity in the office. It may be difficult at first but the more you practice it, the easier it will get. If you want the rest of my list of time wasters that coaches tend to be guilty of, go here to get my 11 Mistakes That Stop Coaches from Being Successful free report.

Mandy Green has been a College Soccer Coach for more than 18 years and is the founder of Busy Coach, where she helps coaches develop and discipline their time management. Mandy teaches practical and immediately usable ideas, methods, strategies, and techniques that will make your coaching and recruiting life much less chaotic. When you learn and apply these powerful, practical techniques, you will dramatically improve the quality of your life in every area. To get more awesome collegiate-specific productivity expertise, go to www.mandygreencps.com and opt-in. 

 

Save 1-2 Hours a Day With This One DocumentMonday, February 6th, 2017

Mandy Green, Busy Coach

Just this last week, I got a lot of questions from coaches who emailed to ask me how they can save an hour or 2 during the day so they can go home earlier to be with their families.

While I have done a lot of things that have helped me free up time, creating templates for repeatable tasks has no doubt saved me at least an hour or even 2 hours of work daily.  

2 hours a day x 5 days a week=5-10 hours x 4 weeks = 20-40 hours a month x 52 =1,040-2,080 hours a year.  That is a big-time time savings, just by spending a few hours setting all of this up.   

For many years now, I have been using templates to improve my productivity. I create a template for any task I find myself doing repeatedly. So instead of reinventing the wheel every time, I do it once, save it as a template, and then reuse it.

For example, once a recruit commits, we are usually on the phone or meeting face to face.  Initially, I found that the recently committed players would always start asking the same questions about what happened next. At first, I would rattle off the top of my head everything I could think of.  Sometimes, I would forget something important, so I decided to create a reusable template to help expedite the process and help get important things taken care in time.

Another example is when we are trying to set up a personalized on-campus visit.  Instead of trying to remember everything, we just created a simple on-campus visit questionnaire that we send just before their visit that has everything on it.  When we get it back, we make sure that everything is scheduled that they ask for so they feel like we went out of our way to set all of it up for them.  You can see it here.

I also found myself responding to the same email requests over and over again. Recruits or their parents would request that I come watch them at a tournament, want to schedule a campus visit, ask for information about our summer camp, coaches asked me to consider them for a coaching position, etc.

One strategy in trying to keep up with all of these emails would be just to ignore these requests. Many coaches do just that. However, I didn’t think that would reflect very well on me or my program. Instead, I wanted to be responsive, even if I had to respond to a sophomore or younger saying that I am not allowed to respond until they reach their junior year.

So rather than spend 10-15 minutes recreating the same information each time, I took a step back and created a simple template that I could use over and over again.

I have created email templates for each of the following kinds of inquiries:

  • Campus visit request
  • What do you want to do while on your visit checklist
  • Post campus visit email
  • Recruit commitment follow-up
  • Request to watch play
  • Request for camp information
  • Frequently asked questions

I could go on and on but hopefully you get the idea.

I am currently working with a few directors of operations in my coaching program to document and create templates or systems for the work that they doing to help them save time.  

These documents don’t have to be complicated.   

Any document your program uses regularly and can be standardized in terms of look and feel and content can be considered as a template. Typical examples are recruiting email templates, camp emails, and hotel travel procedures.

I don’t mindlessly use these templates. Depending on the circumstances, I will personalize the response or I’ll rearrange things to give the message a completely different “look”. Regardless, the template covers 90% of the requests and frees me up to focus on the other coaching responsibilities that I have.

By the way, I first learned about this concept of “templateting” from The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber explores this concept in great detail with lots of excellent examples.

If you would like more examples of how I use templates, please email me at mandy@busy.coach.  I’d love to help.  

 

Two Critical Time Management Mistakes You’re MakingMonday, January 23rd, 2017

Mandy Green, Busy Coach

Coach, have you ever come back from lunch, checked your email, fiddled around on the web, and realized that two or three hours had just slipped away from you?   Every day, so many coaches engage themselves in activities that are not relevant to their goals, recruiting, or their vision for their program. These coaches waste an enormous amount of time every day and they aren’t even aware that they are doing it.

Brian Tracy, motivational speaker and best-selling author, says most people can waste up to one and a half hours per day because of time-management mistakes. That’s seven and a half hours per week… almost an entire work day!  It’s not a solid block of an hour and a half, but a minute here and a minute there, like a leaky hot water faucet…drip, drip, drip…it doesn’t seem like a major loss, but at the end the day, we’re dumping gallons of hot water down the drain.

The simple truth is that if you could just avoid or properly manage the following list of time-wasters and energy-killers better, you would be free to accomplish your goals and grow your program in profound ways.

One of the services we here at Tudor Collegiate Strategies offer when I go and do an on-campus workshop for coaches is to go through an eleven-point check on how they go about managing their time and identify any mistakes they may be making in terms of their approach.

It’s usually pretty revealing, and I am almost always able to identify mistakes that are being made by a coach in managing his or her day. Finding the time-wasters is the first step in determining how a coach can do his or her job better, and it is key in determining how we need to work with that individual coach or program.

There are two really big time wasters I will talk about here but obviously there are a ton more. Each one has the potential to really eat your time and heighten your stress levels. Even if you’re doing O.K. with one of the two areas I’m going to talk about, that one area you’re failing at can short-circuit your entire day.

 

  • Multi-Tasking

 

Every coach likes to think they’re great at multi-tasking, and some of them actually are. But there’s a limit to how many things you can do at once without taking away from the quality of your work, plus it almost always greatly increases the time it takes to finish each project. Experts estimate that the tendency to start and stop a task, to pick it up, put it down and come back to it can increase the time necessary to complete the task by as much as 500%. That means that a task that should take 10 minutes to complete now takes almost an hour.

That’s why it is very important to absorb yourself with one thing at a time. Give that task your full attention and complete it before moving on to the next thing. By concentrating single-mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50% or more. Do your most important task first. Do it until it’s completed. Then, and only then, move on to the next most important task.

 

  • Meetings

 

We have all been in meetings that don’t start on time, seem to have no purpose, and don’t end when they should. Those terrible meetings should tell you something about how your meetings should go.

First: Have a purpose and stick only to that purpose.

Second: Your meeting should start on time.

Third: Your meeting should end on time.

To sum up, if you say you are going to have a meeting from 11:30 to 12:00 to discuss the practice for the day, you better start your meeting at 11:30, it better be about the practice for the day and nothing else, and it better be over by 12:00.

No matter what sport you coach, time is valuable and work is interconnected. If you fail to start meetings on time or fail to meet commitments, you affect the work of the rest of your staff. Schedule blocks of time for each item to be discussed and then keep track of the time. Always keep commitments, and if you can’t, make sure all affected staff members know what happened.

The key point here with both of these time wasters is to Stay FOCUSED That’s all that really matters. Refuse to let other things distract you from the task at hand and you can triple your productivity in the office. It may be difficult at first but the more you practice it, the easier it will get.

Your Success Could Be Determined By What You StopMonday, January 16th, 2017

Mandy Green, Busy Coach

We all have a tremendous amount to do these days.  Between recruiting, managing and training the team, office stuff, meetings, camps, etc, our to-do lists are getting longer and more out of control.  

If you are one of the many coaches out there who is overwhelmed trying to get everything done, I want to help you regain control over your workload by helping you make better choices.  Since we only have so much time to get things done, you need to CHOOSE what gets done and what doesn’t get done. You must consciously choose what you will work on based on how it will affect your program and the results you want to produce and you need to delay or eliminate other less important items from your schedule. You can’t find more time, but you can always change the way you use the time you already have.

Many productivity and time-management experts say the most helpful list you may ever create is one outlining what not to do. “Do-not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance in the office.   

The reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do.

The idea is to list all the activities you are intentionally going to stop doing for the sake of greater productivity.  Just like you have a Master To-Do List for all of the things you should be doing, the Do-Not-Do list has on it all of the activities that are time-wasters, your list of people not to talk to because they’re time vampires, your do-not-eat list, your not-to-have-in the office list, etc.  

In his best-seller Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, Jim Collins lauds the value of a “stop-doing” list: “Those who built the good-to-great companies… made as much use of stop-doing lists as to-do lists. They displayed a remarkable discipline to unplug all sorts of extraneous junk.”

I believe that there are 2 ways to figure out what should go on your do-not-do-list.

  1. The first step in deciding what not to do in your life is zeroing in on what you ultimately want to achieve. “If you really get clear about your real goals, visions and values, it will be easier to cut the extraneous things off your lists that aren’t that purposeful for you,” says David Allen, author of Getting Things Done.
  2. The second way to figure out what not-to-do is to time track.  Write down on the left hand side of a piece of paper the day’s times in 15-minute increments. As your day goes along, write down what you’re doing at that time all day long so you can identify things that you may be wasting too much time on in the office. By taking a realistic look at how you spend your time, you can determine which activities don’t yield valuable results in return for the time and effort they require. Then, you can cut those time-wasters out of your life.

Let’s take you through some examples. I wanted to share this list with you because I thought that they were very applicable to what we do as coaches.  Tim Ferris, author of the 4-Hour Work Week, had these items pertaining to email on his Do-Not-Do-List.

Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night
The former scrambles your priorities and plans for the day, and the latter just gives you insomnia. E-mail can wait until 10am, after you’ve completed at least one of your critical to-do items…

Do not check e-mail constantly — “batch” and check at set times only
Get off the cocaine pellet dispenser and focus on execution of your top to-do’s instead of responding to manufactured emergencies. Set up a strategic auto responder and check twice or thrice daily.

Do not carry a cellphone or Crackberry 24/7
Take at least one day off of digital leashes per week. Turn them off or, better still, leave them in the garage or in the car. I do this on at least Saturday, and I recommend you leave the phone at home if you go out for dinner. So what if you return a phone call an hour later or the next morning? As one reader put it to a miffed co-worker who worked 24/7 and expected the same: “I’m not the president of the US. No one should need me at 8pm at night. OK, you didn’t get a hold of me. But what bad happened?”The answer? Nothing.


Seeing through on your do-not-do list ultimately may take sheer force of will. Like everything, you will get better with practice.  Jim Collins writes, “The real question is… do you have the discipline to do the right thing and, equally important, to stop doing the wrong things?”

When you get stuck on your not-to-do list, you waste time and end the day frustrated because you didn’t get anything done.  Make your list and post it where you can always see it to remind yourself of what you should not be doing.  Enlist the support of co-workers to help keep you on track.  If you find yourself doing something on your do-not-do list, get up, walk around, refocus, and then get back after your important to-do list items.  Good luck!

I’d love to hear what makes your list!  Please email me your list at mandy@busy.coach.  If you want more articles like this, click here to have them delivered to your inbox every Sunday or visit my website at www.busy.coach.

 

Have a great week.

Mandy Green

 

P.S. If you found this helpful, please share it with your coaching friends. I want to help eliminate as much coaching office chaos for as many coaches I can this year. If I can save you 1-2 hours a day and get you so you don’t have to bring as much work home with you (besides recruiting calls), you will have more time and energy to spend with your families, friends, and on your hobbies. Happier and more productive coaches have happier and more productive teams!   

A Great Way to stop the craziness this yearMonday, January 2nd, 2017

Mandy Green, Busy Coach

I want to share a great way to eliminate running around like a chicken-with-your-head-cut-off and always feeling busy.  It’s as simple as creating a proactive way to set up their to-do list.  

A daily to-do list for coaches I’m finding with the coaches that I work with tends to be a reactive list – it’s based on what has just recently come up and is in your immediate area of concern for that time.

As you are working through your reactive list, by the end of the day you have worked hard, done lots, but achieved very little.

Sound familiar?

It makes for a “busy” coach – but not necessarily an effective coach. It’s like you’re always chasing your tail!

So, how can you make your To Do list work for you?

Getting organized so you can be less “busy” means creating a proactive system that works best for you and saves you time and effort.

I believe being proactive begins by making a master list of everything you can think of that has to be done over the course of the year as a coach.  To do this, take out a piece of paper, or turn on your computer, and as they occur

On a piece of paper or on the computer, record all the “must-do, should-do, gotta-do” tasks that pop into your mind. Whenever you think of something new that you have to do, write it down on your master list.  

This Master To-Do List holds all of the tasks that need to get done over the course of the year–and gets them out of your brain until you’re ready to act.   This list then becomes the central control list for your coaching life.  

I have my Master To-Do List organized by the month that I should work on it.   That way I already have a list that covers everything that I can be proactive on in the coming weeks so I can avoid rushing to do it last minute.   

At the beginning of the month, I pick a few things from my Master To-Do List and put them into my daily planning pages in my Busy Coach Game Plan planner that I created.  

Having this list allows me to:

  1. Free up my mind so I don’t have to remember everything.  
  2. Be proactive with my schedule and get things done in advance so I can avoid a lot of running around frantically trying to finish a lot of last minute things. There is no more “oh crap, I forgot we have to do this” for me…for the most part .
  3. I can plan ahead which tasks I NEED to do and which tasks can be delegated.
  4. Being proactive on my to-do list has made it easier to meet goals, it has reduced a lot of busyness, and I have been able to work more efficiently.

If you want a free report detailing what a Master To-Do list is, click here and it will be delivered to you.

If you are interested in hearing more of the details of how I do this, please email me at mandy@busy.coach.  If you want to read about How to Restart a Bad Day and get other productivity advice that is applicable to what we do as coaches, go to www.busy.coach and sign up for my newsletter.  Have a productive week!    

Mandy Green

5 Ways to Make Time for RecruitingMonday, December 12th, 2016

Mandy Green, Busy Coach

I am 100% guilty of not making recruiting a priority at times.  I would get into the office and then get busy doing other things and would tell myself that “I will do it later.”  I would fit in a few minutes in here or there but at the end of the day, I would leave the office feeling guilty because I knew that I didn’t make any significant progress.   

Can you relate?

It is easy to get lost in all of the details of what we do day-to-day.  But for all of us, obviously recruiting quality student athletes is vital to the continued or future success of our program. Recruiting is and should be a priority, so we need to find a way to give it the time it deserves.      

As I have been reading about and applying different time management techniques over the last 8+ years, some methods have worked better than others.  

Here are 5 most effective things that I have done to make time for recruiting.  Depending on your work hours and situation, maybe some or all of these could help.

  1. Start my day earlier.  Instead of waiting to do it when I got into the office, I woke up early and got at least 1 hour of pure recruiting work done before I got into the office.  It was quiet and there were no interruptions so I was able to work for a solid chunk of time and cranked out a ton of emails. It felt great walking into the office for the day knowing that I had already gotten a good amount of recruiting done. 
  2. I worked from a different location.  Depending on the week and how much there was to do, I figured out which were my least busy days and times around the office and went and worked from home or in a coffee shop for a solid block of time.  I was having a hard time making any significant progress in my recruiting when I was only doing it for a few minutes here and there in between 4,000 other things that needed to get done. Going somewhere different where I couldn’t be interrupted and was able to work for solid blocks of time was really helpful. 
  3. I made a long list of everything that had to get done with recruiting.  I figured out what I HAD to do, then I found people to delegate the rest to.  I’ve hired students through work study to do my database entry.  I have gotten my communication majors do our social media for a class project.  I have had to get creative here because my 1st 3 years here at South Dakota I didn’t have a full-time assistant.  There was a lot of work to do so I had to think outside the box and go find help with the resources I had on campus. 
  4. I created systems or checklists for almost everything.  I have checklists for what needs to get done on on-campus visits, recruiting phone calls, game day, preseason, travel, after season meetings, the spring season, etc.  It takes longer, the work doesn’t get done as well, things get forgotten, and it is mentally exhausting when you always trying to remember things because you only have everything up in your head.  Get your standard operating procedures out of your head and down on paper.  When you can get those things running smoother, it will free up a lot more time to do recruiting as well. 
  5. I time tracked what I was actually doing during the day.  From when I started working to when I finished for the day, I wrote down everything I did and for how long I did it.  It was annoying to do for the 2 days that I did it but I was shocked at how much time I was wasting doing unnecessary things and how little time I was allowing for things I know would help grow my program. I tweaked a lot of things from that one exercise and made myself take control of my day better. 

I did all of these things above because I was tired of being tired and stressed out about not getting enough recruiting done. As you may have noticed, doing all of these things above required me to change how I was currently working.  

It was really hard a few years ago to make changes to how I was working because I was used to doing things a certain way.  But now, I don’t think twice about it. 

My program is so much better now because I am working on my program, and not just being busy working in my program. 

How do you make time for recruiting?  Email me at mandy@busy.coach and let me know.  Love hearing all of the ways that everybody else is staying organized and focused on the right things.

Want to work with me this year to get more organized and productive?  Click here.   If you want more information like this delivered to your inbox every Sunday night, get the Busy Coach Newsletter.  

Have a productive week!

Mandy Green

Are You Utilizing Do-Not-Do Lists?Monday, December 5th, 2016

Mandy Green, Busy Coach

We all have a tremendous amount to do these days.  Between recruiting, managing and training the team, office stuff, meetings, camps, etc, our to-do lists are getting longer and more out of control.  

If you are one of the many coaches out there who is overwhelmed trying to get everything done, I want to help you regain control over your workload by helping you make better choices.  Since we only have so much time to get things done, you need to CHOOSE what gets done and what doesn’t get done. You must consciously choose what you will work on based on how it will affect your program and the results you want to produce and you need to delay or eliminate other less important items from your schedule. You can’t find more time, but you can always change the way you use the time you already have.

Many productivity and time-management experts say the most helpful list you may ever create is one outlining what not to do. “Do-not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance in the office.   

The reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do.

The idea is to list all the activities you are intentionally going to stop doing for the sake of greater productivity.  This is a list of activities that are time-wasters, your list of people not to talk to because they’re time vampires, your do-not-eat list, your not-to-have-in the office list, etc.  

In his best-seller Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, Jim Collins lauds the value of a “stop-doing” list: “Those who built the good-to-great companies… made as much use of stop-doing lists as to-do lists. They displayed a remarkable discipline to unplug all sorts of extraneous junk.”

I believe that there are 2 ways to figure out what should go on your do-not-do-list.

  1. The first step in deciding what not to do in your life is zeroing in on what you ultimately want to achieve. “If you really get clear about your real goals, visions and values, it will be easier to cut the extraneous things off your lists that aren’t that purposeful for you,” says David Allen, author of Getting Things Done.
  1. The second way to figure out what not-to-do is to time track.  Write down on the left hand side of a piece of paper the day’s times in 15-minute increments. As your day goes along, write down what you’re doing at that time all day long so you can identify things that you may be wasting too much time on in the office. By taking a realistic look at how you spend your time, you can determine which activities don’t yield valuable results in return for the time and effort they require. Then, you can cut those time-wasters out of your life.

Let’s take you through some examples. I wanted to share this list with you because I thought that they were very applicable to what we do as coaches.  Tim Ferris, author of the 4-Hour Work Week, had these items pertaining to email on his Do-Not-Do-List.

Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night
The former scrambles your priorities and plans for the day, and the latter just gives you insomnia. E-mail can wait until 10am, after you’ve completed at least one of your critical to-do items…

Do not check e-mail constantly — “batch” and check at set times only
Get off the cocaine pellet dispenser and focus on execution of your top to-do’s instead of responding to manufactured emergencies. Set up a strategic auto responder and check twice or thrice daily.

Do not carry a cellphone or Crackberry 24/7
Take at least one day off of digital leashes per week. Turn them off or, better still, leave them in the garage or in the car. I do this on at least Saturday, and I recommend you leave the phone at home if you go out for dinner. So what if you return a phone call an hour later or the next morning? As one reader put it to a miffed co-worker who worked 24/7 and expected the same: “I’m not the president of the US. No one should need me at 8pm at night. OK, you didn’t get a hold of me. But what bad happened?”The answer? Nothing.

Do not expect work to fill a void that non-work relationships and activities should
Work is not all of life. Your co-workers shouldn’t be your only friends. Schedule life and defend it just as you would an important business meeting. Never tell yourself “I’ll just get it done this weekend.”  Force yourself to cram work within tight hours so your per-hour productivity doesn’t fall through the floor. Focus, get the critical few done, and get out. E-mailing all weekend is no way to spend the little time you have on this planet.


Seeing through on your do-not-do list ultimately may take sheer force of will. Like everything, you will get better with practice.  Jim Collins writes, “The real question is… do you have the discipline to do the right thing and, equally important, to stop doing the wrong things?”

When you get stuck on your not-to-do list, you waste time and end the day frustrated because you didn’t get anything done.  Make your list and post it where you can always see it to remind yourself of what you should not be doing.  Enlist the support of co-workers to help keep you on track.  If you find yourself doing something on your do-not-do list, get up, walk around, refocus, and then get back after your important to-do list items.  Good luck!

I’d love to hear what makes your list!  Please email me your list at mandy@busy.coach  

A Smart Way to Control Your ScheduleMonday, November 28th, 2016

Mandy Green, Busy Coach

Due to the nature of the work, coaches have to follow a flexible schedule. You need to be free to accommodate the needs of your teams and recruits and other administrative staff with whom you work.

But coach, you don’t have to turn your schedules over to others as much as you may think.

The most successful people in any profession are usually highly scheduled. Have you ever met a successful doctor who tells patients to “come on in any ol’ time”?

No, doctors have highly scheduled lives. They have blocks of time set up for seeing patients, performing surgeries, and working at their hospitals. They know how many patients they need to see each day to create the lifestyles they choose to live.

Is it possible for you to run your program the same way? It’s certainly more efficient than the way most of us coaches run our programs now.

Time blocking involves consistently setting aside time for the high priority activities.  Time blocking will provide some much needed structure in your day and as long as you avoid getting distracted and commit to just doing the one thing, it will allow you to complete tasks or at least complete a large part of a task before moving on to something else.  The fundamental rationale for time blocking is the knowledge that if high priority activities don’t get scheduled, they usually get done feebly, fruitlessly, or not at all.  

Here is how it works. Decide on the tasks you will do for a particular day. Instead of just having a “to do” list with everything listed in order of importance and working down the list, take a few items from the list that are top priority for accomplishing what you need to accomplish, and block out whatever time you want to allocate to that task. This can be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours. The point is to only allocate the allotted time to each task.

What activities should you time block for?

Time Blocking at Work
What if you had two uninterrupted hours every day to focus on nothing else but your most important activities? The time might be spent planning or working on recruiting, developing your team and staff, getting caught up on administrative work, or learning something that will add value to your program. How would spending just two hours dedicated to the really important things improve your program? Keep in mind that these two hours are focused, uninterrupted work time and do not include all the other time spent traveling, in meetings, talking by phone, sending email and other activities also directly related to achieving these activities.

Personal Time Blocking
You cannot be effective in your work if your inner reserves are depleted. Making time to “recharge your batteries” will actually boost your energy. Block time for exercise, contemplation, relaxation or recreation. Be sure to carve out time for family or friends as well. And, before committing to anything else, be sure to pencil in some vacation time as well. Then, treat appointments with yourself as respectfully as you would with others.

After talking to all of the coaches that I have worked with since coming on board with Dan Tudor about 10 years ago, I would say that the number one reason coaches do not reach their goals is because they did not allocate enough time in the office to accomplish the goal or goals that they set for their recruiting, team, staff, or for themselves.

Tonight, figure out what your 3 most important activities are for tomorrow.  Then open your calendar and block off the time you need to get these activities worked on.  When it is time to get to work, WORK! Protect that time and don’t let anything interrupt that time you have allocated to work on a significant task or goal that you have.  Good luck!

If you want more information like this to help with your office organization and productivity, please email me at mandy@busy.coach or check out my website at www.busy.coach.

Have a productive week!

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